21 Paths To Persuasion – Part 2

By: Joe Crisara

Remember that in all walks of life the reality is that persuasion exists. Whether you are trying to persuade your kids or spouse at home or if we are attempting to get clients to use our services, it is essential to guide people to a discovery that your ideas are valid. We invite you to continue reading part 2 in our series, The 21 Paths To Perfect Persuasion. What then is ‘perfect’ persuasion?

Persuasion is perfected when the person who changed their mind thought is was their idea and not yours.  In this 2nd issue of this 3-part series we will continue to explore these paths so you can both evaluate and apply new methods to perform your service for your clients:

8. Write It Down – Writing down the issues that your clients face and also the solutions that could solve these issues is persuasive because client’s figure that if you took the time to write all of this down, it MUST be important.  Alternately, presenting the information verbally alone WITHOUT writing it down looks lazy and will not be taken as seriously. Why? Simply because anyone can talk about problems and solutions but documenting them is taken more seriously. Basically great service is not just lip service.
9. No Warnings – Alerting clients that you about to persuade them either literally or by the use of ‘leading questions’ defeat your presentation before it ever got started. Phrases like, ‘Let me try to convince’ you OR ‘Would you be interested in’ are antiquated and ineffective. The reason for this is that your client is now more focused on your persuasion technique than they are on the message itself.  If they see persuasion coming, you have already lost.
10. Use Pace Wisely – If your client is receptive to the message you are about to deliver, then talking slower and more carefully will draw your client in and help them to realize the gravity of the situation. This is of course is if your information is relevant and on-code and presented confidently with no weak language such as probably, maybe, could or if. However if the client is agitated or against buying, then a faster pace is better. This is because if someone is against you, it gives them less time to think of and construct a counter argument against you.
11. Repeat The Message – Every politician knows that the ‘illusion of truth’is as important as the truth itself. Studies done (Brinol et al 2008) show that repeating a message 3 to 5 times can produce maximum confidence in an idea.  After that, the convincing effect seems to diminish and even begins to reverse. The only time repeating the message doesn’t work is when you do not have your client’s full attention. One idea is to keep hammering on the points that you know for a fact are true. Alternately staying away from what you don’t know about or from the facts that do not support your argument.
12. Stay Social – Although people in today’s world are in general, very narcissistic, self focused and think ourselves as individuals, we are still very much persuaded by the rule of the crowd. In unfamiliar situations we look towards what others are doing or what they have done as a cue for us to act in the manner that is consistent with the group. Sharing stories about how others have succeeded or failed to make our point is a great way to accomplish this.  We can also cite statistics to show which solution is favored by most people as well.
13. Getting Attention – One of the most basic fundamentals of persuasion is the understanding that your ability to persuade is based on having an audience.  Using pauses and ‘check-ins’ to make sure that the mind you are trying to change is open to listening, is essential.  When you fail to make sure people are ready and open to what you are about to say, you also fail in your attempt to help them understand.  Make sure you have their attention by maintaining a consistent pace mixed in with appropriate pauses.
14. Set The Environment: As a master persuader it is your job to make sure that the environment is conducive to people paying attention to you.  Ask people to move to a place where they can focus on your message before you begin to persuade them. Make sure that all possible interruptions are handled and discussed before the interaction so that they can maintain involvement with you and not the things that may interrupt them.